Old Glory, New Breeze

Everything you need to know about the Bundy face-off with the feds you learned in your childhood — that is, if you had the kind of childhood in which you read all the Robin Hood stories. If you want to know the rudiments of what is going on now, just substitute in phrases like “Prince John,” “Sheriff of Nottingham,” and “the king’s deer.”

Incidentally, before passing on from the Robin Hood thing, let me straighten out a common misconception about all that. When he robbed from the rich to give to the poor, this was not redistributionist socialism. It was not envy-ridden socialism, it was simple Sherwood justice. He was robbing from rich thieves in government, and giving the money back to the victims of a predatory IRS. The merry men did not have a flag, but if they had, it would have been yellow with a rattlesnake on it.

That noted, let me make just a few observations — as I have now taken up amateur sociology! — about the incident in Nevada.

I have noted a number of conservatives expressing their sympathies with Bundy, but also insisting that “legally” he doesn’t have a leg to stand on, and as conservatives we have to stand with the rule of law. Without the rule of law we are as but gibbons in the jungle. Right?

Point taken, but the rule of law can be despised externally or corrupted internally. When it has been thoroughly corrupted internally, as it has been with us, and it eventually gets to the stage where the problem is noticed from the outside, the outsiders are not the ones causing the problem. If we want the rule of law, then the law needs to stop beclowning itself. If conservatives inside the Beltway are truly concerned to protect the rule of law, they need to stop trimming their sails so much, and start fighting for the rule of law right where they are. They need to do this instead of tut-tutting when people out in the heartland start saying enough.

The basic division in our country right now is not between the political parties — it is between the ruling class (and those bribed to support them), and the ruled. The basic political difference right now is between the squeezers and the squeezed. Anyone who wants to read more about that distinction should check out Angelo Codevilla’s superb little book on the subject.

We are now being run by corruptocrats, and they control the elections, the regulations, the regulators, the courts, the bribes, the kickbacks, the appeals process, and so it has come to pass that the prosecutor has shown, indeed proven, that this was in fact the king’s deer. Yes, but should the king be allowed to own 98 percent of the deer in every state west of the Mississippi? When did that happen? How did that happen?

Yes, I know, the Bundy situation actually involved Bundy’s cattle and the king’s turtles. Life is complicated, and this is a metaphor.

All that said by way of preface, here are a few other random observations.

I mentioned that the law should stop beclowning itself. Let us start by observing that the Bureau of Land Management ought not to be decked out like they were preparing for an assault on Mount Doom. The odd militarization of federal agencies is just plain stupid. What kind of federal agencies now have armed law enforcement divisions? You may well ask. Well, for starters, the Department of Education, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the EPA. How’s that? It seems to me that a number of our bureaucrats are little roosters with various compensatory issues.

Second, back the day Gil Scott-Heron taught us that the “revolution will not be televised.” It turns out that this assumption, reasonable enough at the time, was incorrect. In watching the footage between the feds and the protestors, one of the striking things about it was how many of the protestors were holding up their phones, recording the whole thing. And I understand that apps are on the way which will prevent the authorities from being able to successfully confiscate the footage. This is all to the good — the ruling elites need to be on the record far more often than they are, especially when they are waving guns around.

And last, another striking thing about the showdown was how prevalent the American flag was in the ranks of the protestors. This was notable because they were at the point of drawn guns with federal authorities, forces that are identified by that same flag. A number of years ago — in my discussions with ideologically-pure libertarian types — I remember predicting that when we eventually got to the shoving and pushing part of this story, the resisters would show up for the grand confrontation with their government, and that all their pick-up trucks would be characterized by American flag decals. This means that the pushback that our overweening government so desperately needs is going to come from ordinary folks who have “had enough,” and not from dispositional scofflaws who have read more about the history of the Federal Reserve than was healthy for them.

You have no doubt seen footage of Obama standing on various official platforms, with a row of 28 American flags behind him. And here we saw men on horseback carrying the American flag — like they do at the rodeo — riding toward armed representatives of that same Obama’s federal government. Same flag, but it means something completely different. What is this? It means that Robin Hood was loyal to Richard the Lion-hearted, just like Prince John claimed he was.

Old Glory, new breeze.

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Thomas Banks
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Thomas Banks

This was quite good. 

Phillip Harrison
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Phillip Harrison

Great article, thanks for writing on this subject.

David Price
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David Price

Being a Christian libertarian (perhaps in the Machen-style) I’m always confounded by conservatives that want to go back to the “way things were”.  You mean the “way things were” that got us to the “way things are”?  That “way things were”?  It’s like traveling on a road for 100 miles, realizing you’re in a complete fog-of-a-place-with-bad-juju-all-around and deciding that the best way to get where you want to go is to go back to where you started.  Unless a different route is taken…well, you know.

gtr
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gtr

Doug, great article. Is there is a possibility to enable the forwarding of your posts without forwarding all of the comments as well. At times there are people I am witnessing to that I would like to send one of your posts but wind up choosing not to because the comments get way into the weeds, and there are times I would like to send the comments as well. If you can get one of your techies to enable us to have the choice that would really be great. Thanks much

Joseph Hession
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Joseph Hession

Get the slate cleaned so we can dirty it again…

Eric Stampher
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Eric Stampher

“Little roosters” — hah!!  Did you come up with that?

mekt75
Member

The government is playing the 
races off each other with spectacular success.

jay niemeyer
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jay niemeyer

Marvelously done, Pastor Wilson! By far the best political article I’ve read this year.

Leonard c Johnson
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Leonard c Johnson

The Rule of Law is not to be conflated with Rule by Executive Edict.  

Eric
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Eric

Great article.  I always enjoy reading your blog.
I was disappointed to hear after the fact that the Bundy supporters were considering putting women on the front line if the shooting started.  Apparently the idea was to add shock value to their cause.  The story lost some of its “shine” for me in light of this cowardice idea.  

Rick Niemeyer
Guest
Rick Niemeyer

Almost one-third of the entire 2.3 billion acres in the country is owned by the federal government. And that is a scandal.   The United States should now– at the very least – release for public sale all land-holdings it is not actually using for a specific and valuable purpose.   In the Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical “Oklahoma,” the rousing finale says: “We know we belong to the land, and the land we belong to is grand.” The people may belong to the land, but too much of the land does not belong to the people. Let Mr Bundy’s… Read more »

Jeff
Guest

Mr. Price,

With no apologies to Barbara Streisand, well, I don’t know what you are talking about. I’ll go with Samwise Gamgee, “There is some good in the world and it’s worth fighting for.”

Jon Swerens
Member

@Joseph Hession: I understood that reference. :)

John
Guest
John

Love the Mount Doom reference…by the way I have a recommendation for Pastor Doug–if you have time, make one of the CanonWired youtube videos where you talk about Tolkien. I love CS Lewis a TON-especially his Space Trilogy but I would also love to get your take on Tolkien, and particularly his Catholic influence in the Lord of the Rings. I know that Lewis loved LOTR.

RFB
Guest
RFB

The following is not a contrarian view, but I must agree with Eric regarding the “putting women on the front line…”. I am wary of “Sheriff Mack” hucksterism that foments emotional instead of thoughtful response, and I think that it is important to remember that agent provocateurs have been utilized in the past. Mack made his claim to fame as an amicus (Printz v. United States) against the federal requirement of local law enforcement duties pursuant to Brady. He deserves props for that. I will grant that with the .gov artist troupe performing these acts, there is not much need… Read more »

delurking
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delurking

This is some seriously delusional ranting. Suppose I had been squatting on your land for the past year. Suppose you came over and said, “Hey, if you’re going to live on my land, you need to pay rent. Either that, or move.” Suppose I said, “Nope, this is MURICA, I have a right to live where I want. And look, I have a flag, so that makes it okay.” It’s not his land. Saying he has a right to it doesn’t mean he does have a right to it. I don’t care how many flags he waves around. (Let me… Read more »

jay niemeyer
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jay niemeyer

Delurking, if the federal Hyper Powers that Be in MURICA say a parcel – or two zillion – happens to be theirs  – and that this… and now this… and now that…. and this which was once yours… and that which once belonged to a mere state… what gives them the right to such claims? By the way… Eminent domain happens to mean “supreme lordship”. Sinclair Lewis’ quote seems more applicable to this sort of idea, no?

timothy
Guest
timothy

this is is some seriously delusional ranting. Look in a mirror and point, Delurking; your sneer has no truck with me. Let me quote Pastor Wilson for you: Point taken, but the rule of law can be despised externally or corrupted internally. When it has been thoroughly corrupted internally, as it has been with us, and it eventually gets to the stage where the problem is noticed from the outside, the outsiders are not the ones causing the problem. If we want the rule of law, then the law needs to stop beclowning itself. If conservatives inside the Beltway are… Read more »

melody
Member
melody

Ah, the Great Amerikan, Sinclair Lewis. A four time married alcoholic who despised America. The decisions made about cattle grazing on public land were made by unelected bureaucrats and are not law in the traditional sense of the word. It is stunning to me that liberals would rejoice to see innocent people who came out to stand up to the BLM Bullies shot and killed for daring to touch BLM land, yet are the biggest cheering section for illegal immigrants trampling the desert tortoise along the Mexican border. The willful inconsistency boggles the thinking mind. As to the retired sheriff… Read more »

Katecho
Member

I agree with Doug’s major premise that our government is increasingly beclowning our laws, creating burdens on the people. This can help us understand things from the perspective of Bundy, but we need to be very clear about where our battle lines are, and what our tactics will be. In spite of his claims, it appears that the Bundy family does not, and never had, any historic legal basis to graze on the disputed land. They never held title to the land, and there weren’t any transferable grazing rights. Even if we suppose that his family did have a legal… Read more »

Robert
Guest
Robert

Whoever controls the price of oil controls the economy.who SHOULD control the price of oil? This is much more of an issue for me than something in Nevada.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Katecho Agreed. The impetus for the gathering at Bundy Ranch was the “Oath Keeper’s” vow of “No More Wacos”. Law aside, I do have more sympathy for Bundy’s pov than I do the legal argument. His family has been ranching there since the 1890’s and all that his changed is the legal environment around them–the same legal environment that makes me a felon for not purchasing health insurance, not baking a wedding cake or not registering my rifle. We have given ample decades of “leaving it to the lawyers” and it has gotten us here. Good people (not you, Delurking)… Read more »

Andrew Lohr
Member

10 years’ notorious adverse possession is good title?

David Smith
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David Smith

We are at the point – past it, really – that the government’s brand of “law” has become lawlessness;  they make it up as they go along!

Robert
Guest
Robert

Rick, would you really like to see the Statue of Liberty sold?

timothy
Guest
timothy

Is it me, or did the motto “Theology that bites” change to “Theology that bites back” ?

If so, it is an improvment. I would prefer a better verb.

Jill or Carole, what is the name of the part of speech that the word ‘back’ plays? Adverb?

RFB
Guest
RFB

katecho, I am encouraged by the thoughtfulness of your response, and timothy’s concurrence with it. From a vantage point obtained by having some experience within this dynamic, I have seen quite a number of less than knowledgeable or wise people lead astray by the aforementioned hucksterism. The problem that is growing is the building frustration from continual over-reach by .gov is seriously complicated by the reality that, in my experience, many of those who are experiencing this frustration do not understand the principles of lesser magistrates, venue, etc. I have seen quite a few people who have built up an… Read more »

delurking
Guest
delurking

See also this:

Cliven Bundy’s family worked their ranch land since 1877. The family claims ancestral and sovereign rights.

On Monday, the I-Team received a map from the Moapa band of Paiute Indians showing how the land the Bundy ranch is [on] was promised to them by federal treaty.

That is until federal troops forced the tribe out and families, including the Bundy family settled in.

http://mikethemadbiologist.com/2014/04/17/putting-the-bundy-ranch-dispute-in-context/

I think there’s a commandment you people have about not stealing, right?

Or does that only apply when you want it to apply?

To white Flag-waving gun-toting Christian people with guns?

delurking
Guest
delurking

And m — I suggest you take yourself to a logic class and look up the following fallacies: ad hominem and ad hominem tu quoque.

Or just calm down, maybe?

timothy
Guest
timothy

@RFB

Excellent point on the failure of the lesser magistrates–they have made it clear what they serve.

To your point on the confusion and chaos and tarnished men muddling the case; I think we are going to have to expect more of that going forward.

However, Aslan is on the roam–I am very hopeful.

RFB
Guest
RFB

An essay that provides good support for Pastor Wilson’s admonition regarding the “the law should stop beclowning itself”.

From Andrew McCarthy, a quite experienced former Federal Prosecutor: “And when the officials trusted to execute law faithfully violate laws regularly, they lose their presumption of legitimacy.”

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/375924/bundy-and-rule-law-andrew-c-mccarthy

timothy
Guest
timothy

That sound of glass shattering is from the stone Delurking just threw when he urges m to look up ‘ad hominem tu quoque’ exactly one comment after where he engages in it himself.

It’s delightful, it’s delicious, It’s delectable, it’s delirious, It’s dilemma, it’s delimit, it’s deluxe, It’s de-lovely

It’s Delurking!

ArwenB
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ArwenB

It seems to me that in land disputes vis-a-vis paleface homesteaders and the .gov treaties with the Tribes, .gov has screwed over both the Tribe and citizens: the Tribes by encroaching on treatied land, and the citizens by giving them land that was not .gov’s to give.

That is, however, a whole different can of worms and of topic for this thread.

timothy
Guest
timothy

@RFB

Good link, thanks. I saw this comment there and just had to chuckle given the topic here:

Who knew that Obama’s head of the EPA (or of any other government agency you name) is the Sheriff of Nottingham?

The rage on display in the comments is palpable.

RFB
Guest
RFB

Another part of the larger dynamic is the cultural differences that are extant between citizens living in New Jersey/California type enclaves, and citizens from places like Montana/Idaho. Witness the uncomplaining acquiescence of being forcibly removed from one’s residence at police gunpoint while searching for the Boston marathon miscreants. Or, more recently, being interviewed while sitting in a vehicle with a rifle barrel stuck in one’s face as if it were a microphone. Not only did the citizens not object (at least after the fact), they think its just business as normal. They are insufficiently aware that these were violations of… Read more »

Frank Golubski
Guest
Frank Golubski

“No society can exist unless the laws are respected to a certain degree. The safest way to make laws respected is to make them respectable. When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. These two evils are of equal consequence, and it would be difficult for a person to choose between them.”

~ Frédéric Bastiat, “The Law”

jay niemeyer
Guest
jay niemeyer

Delurking, “…federal troops forced the tribe out and families, including the Bundy family settled in.”

Thanks for apt point – which I was making.

jay niemeyer
Guest
jay niemeyer

Also, if it is indeed true that the feds did that – and the tribe still exists – it seems that THEY have rights to the property.

timothy
Guest
timothy

For all you who cannot grasp Doug’s point and think this is about the Bundy’s and “the law” this news interview should put that idea to rest:

http://www.westernjournalism.com/footage-bundy-massacre/#6sMYEJi1DZrCGUi0.01

Dave
Guest
Dave

Katecho and others: Our laws are quite clear on this matter. The Bundy’s have use of the property because the US, belatedly now claiming ownership, has not taken quick action. If I cut across your property in my truck for 20 years and you take finally legal action against me, I will still be able to drive my truck across your land because that right has been granted to me by your inaction. (That is unless you pay the judge off as was done in this case.)//// Where should Christians fight? Where should Christians take a stand? We didn’t fight… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

So where do Christians stand and fight?

Ask The Lord where He wants you and do that.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Tim, that is a typical soft, don’t upset the apple cart reply from today’s Christians. The Bible already set the boundaries and we violate them every day. Today, Christians are praying to have those Biblical lines in the sand set aside for their personal comfort.

Where do we stand and fight?

RFB
Guest
RFB

Dave,

There is only One Savior, and only One King: Jesus.

Unless and until God in His sovereign mercy causes repentance and revival, then we act in vain.

I think that when His people, who are called by His Name…we all know the drill. It ain’t those guys…it’s His people.

I think that one bellweather of a sea change will be when one sees, on a broad scale, a return to proper worship and preaching in churches on the Lord’s day. That will be a cloud the size of a man’s hand that can become a gully washer.

Katecho
Member

I agree that Dave’s list of secular abuses are things that we Christians haven’t been very good at resisting to the extent that we could or should have. We have largely abdicated and bowed to the culture. But I want to be clear that I was referring to a specific kind of resistance that would involve violence, bloodshed, and potentially death. We need to know where that boundary is before we show up to protest anything. I believe that there is a time when violence and killing are necessary forms of resistance, but in the majority of circumstances resistance does… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

Katecho +1

RFB
Guest
RFB

As (I think) our host has opined: “Think like men of action, act like thoughtful men.”

Dave
Guest
Dave

Katecho the last time I looked, abortion did end in death. Yet most Christians are afraid to speak out against abortion unless they are safely tucked away at church. My complaints were not secular abuses but every one a violation of God’s law as written in the Bible. Christians today do not know right from wrong. The lines are already drawn yet Christians can’t see them. The need for violence is here and has been for many years. I can’t tell you the number of times I was given the choice of breaking Christian values or being involved in fisticuffs… Read more »

Kimberley
Guest
Kimberley

Fantastic! It brought tears to my eyes to see all those Patriots on horseback with Old Glory flying in the breeze.

Unfortunately, I think it’s going to get much worse for people that want the corruptocrats ousted.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Then consider how American Christians run for cover when pushed on Biblical issues.

You must be new here. (:

Grace and Peace.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Timothy, I am not new here at all. I just happen to travel frequently and see our Christian brothers in other churches. What happens in Moscow is one thing. What happens in Texas, California, Virginia, Florida, Alaska, New York, Illinois and the other states in our union is entirely a different matter. At a large church in Virginia, I listened to a Southern Baptist preacher and it took him over 15 minutes to even get around to including Jesus or God in his sermon. That is par for the course at the churches I visit on the road. Most preaching… Read more »